Gaza death toll hits 121 as Israel bombs dozens

2014-07-12 09:19
Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, attend the funeral of militant Mohammed Obied during his funeral in the town of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, attend the funeral of militant Mohammed Obied during his funeral in the town of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

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Tel Aviv/Gaza City - The death toll in the Gaza Strip topped 121, as Israel bombed dozens of targets overnight on the fifth day of airstrikes on Saturday.

Three men were killed near a mosque in western Gaza City, emergency services chief Ashraf al-Qedra said. A 17-year-old was killed in a strike on a Gaza City street, he added.

 A military spokesperson in Tel Aviv said Israel bombed 60 targets overnight, bringing the total hit since the aerial offensive began Tuesday to more than 1 000 targets.

At least five rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel overnight, a relatively quiet night. Since the start of the offensive, armed groups have launched more than 690, she said.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza, said more than two-thirds of the dead in the densely populated Strip are civilians, many of them women and children.

High number of civilian casualties

 More than 920 have been reported injured. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the rate of nightly and daily bombings is double that of an eight-day offensive on Gaza in 2012.

 He said Israel would not stop until Palestinian rocket attacks stop, and vowed not to cave to international pressure.

The UN said the "targeting and destruction of residential buildings in Gaza continues to be the main cause of civilian casualties".

 The UN High Commission for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed concern about the high number of civilian casualties.

 Ane Israeli troop buildup near the Gaza border was to be strengthened by one or two more brigades next week, military spokesman Peter Lerner said Friday.

 About 20 000 Israeli reserve soldiers have been called up for duty.

Read more on:    un  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  navi pillay  |  israel  |  palestine  |  gaza  |  middle east peace

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